UAE Free Zones

14 January 2013

Six executives behind free zones supporting industrial development: Tony Douglas, Salma Ali Saif Saeed bin Hareb, Oussama el-Omari, Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, Mohammed al-Zarooni and Humaid al-Khatri

Tony Douglas

Position: Chief executive officer (CEO), Abu Dhabi Ports Company (ADPC)

Biography: Tony Douglas was appointed CEO of ADPC in June 2010. Prior to this, he was chief operating officer of UK-based Laing O’Rourke. Douglas was also a board member of the local Aldar Properties/Laing O’Rourke joint venture formed to build the $20bn Al-Raha Beach Development in Abu Dhabi. Before joining Laing O’Rourke, he held several senior executive positions at UK airport operator BAA, including chief executive in charge of London’s Heathrow airport. In his current role, Douglas oversees the development of ADPC’s portfolio of projects, including the Khalifa Port & Industrial Zone (KPIZ) in Taweelah, half way between Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Phase one of KPIZ opened in 2012, replacing Abu Dhabi’s Mina Zayed port. It has an initial capacity of 2 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEU) of containers and 9 million TEUs of general cargo.

Contact Tel: (+971) 2 695 2000

Salma Ali Saif Saeed bin Hareb

Position: CEO, Economic Zones World

Biography: Salma Ali Saeed bin Hareb is the CEO of Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) and its parent group Economic Zones World. Prior to her appointment as CEO in 2005, Hareb worked as Jafza’s chief planning officer, where she was responsible for strategic planning, business development, finance and human resources. Jafza was established in 1985 and houses more than 6,400 companies in an area of 48 square kilometres. The free zone accounts for more than 50 per cent of Dubai’s total exports, 25 per cent of all container throughput at Jebel Ali port and 12 per cent of air freight at Dubai International airport. Economic Zones World owns UK-based logistics group Gazeley, the UAE’s TechnoPark and Dubai Auto Zone. Hareb was educated in the UAE and the UK, specialising in medical sciences, information technology and business studies.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4 881 2222

Oussama el-Omari

Position: CEO, Ras al-Khaimah Free Trade Zone Authority

Biography: Oussama el-Omari has been CEO of Ras al-Khaimah Free Trade Zone Authority since it was established in 2000. El-Omari attended international schools in Morocco and France before completing a degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in the US. He is a former chair of the UAE Free Zone Round Table and former secretary-general of the Manila-based World Economic Processing Zone Association (Wepza). Ras al-Khaimah Free Trade Zone, located in the northern UAE emirate, houses more than 6,000 companies offering 100 per cent tax exemption and the possibility of 100 per cent foreign ownership. The trade zone is focused on four key sectors of growth: education; aviation; energy; and healthcare. The free zone has been given approval by the authorities to add another 70 hectares next to the emirate’s airport.

Contact Tel: (+971) 7 204 1111

Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber

Position: CEO, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar)

Biography: Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber is the CEO and managing director of Masdar, the state-owned firm behind Masdar City, the world’s first carbon-neutral city. The clean technology cluster, which is located near Abu Dhabi International airport, is spread over six square kilometres. Masdar City is emerging as a global hub for renewable energy and sustainable technologies. Previously, Al-Jaber held various positions at Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and its gas-producing affiliate Abu Dhabi Gas Industries (Gasco). He was also executive marketing director for the Dubai Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, working from Los Angeles in the US. He holds a doctorate in business and economics from Coventry University in the UK. He also has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Southern California in the US.

Contact Tel: (+971) 2 653 3333

Mohammed al-Zarooni

Position: CEO, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority

Biography: Mohammed al-Zarooni is CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, which runs the emirate’s technology-focused free zone. Al-Zarooni completed a doctorate in economic geography from the UK’s Durham University in 1994, after graduating with a master’s degree in the same subject from Emirates University in the UAE. In 1995, he joined Dubai’s Department of Civil Aviation as director of administration and research before being appointed director-general of Dubai Airport Free Zone in 2000. He joined Dubai Silicon Oasis in 2002. It is wholly owned by the government of Dubai and covers 7.2 square kilometres, with specialised infrastructure for high-tech information technology firms. This includes advanced telecommunications, a fibre-optic network, a data centre and eight power stations. Companies based in the free zone include Germany’s SAP, Japan’s Fujitsu and the US’ AMD.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4 501 5000

Humaid al-Khatri

Position: Commercial director, Sharjah Airport International Free Zone Authority (Saif-Zone)

Biography: Humaid al-Khatri has been commercial director of Saif-Zone since 2012. He previously managed several departments in the free zone, giving him experience in team leading, administrative issues and strategic planning. His main focus now is formulating strategies for marketing and increasing sales, and improving services for existing clients. Al-Khatri is a board member of Al-Dhaid Sports & Cultural Club and was previously a board member of the Sharjah Tatweer Forum. Saif-Zone was established in 1995 and now houses more than 5,500 firms. The free zone is located next to Sharjah International airport and has access to Khorfakkan port on the Gulf of Oman and Port Khalid on the Gulf. Firms  based in the free zone are involved in manufacturing, assembling, packing, import, re-export, trade and value-added activities.

Contact Tel: (+971) 6 517 8361

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